Now, the greatest test.

Facing the sheer,
From churning foam,
I look for purchase.

What beast clings?
Holding, Dragging,
Strangling, Choking,
Singleminded in its intent?

A child?
Its chubby arms
Encircle with adult strength.

The swirling eddy,
Then the greatest surge,
Then plunges,
All limbs,
Like lead pipes.

How long does it take
to drown?
This bursting chest,
This heavy form,
Numbed, slow.

And then,
The silken cord,
The life line
Rises invisible.
And, to breathe!

Ah, grief! Ah, despair!
Ah! Exultation!
That heaven is for me alone.